As it was announced at the international conference The path is the goal: Convergence, Cohesion and Cooperation in South East Europe, which was held in the framework of the Berlin Process at the end of May 2018 in Rome, in the Italian academy of sciences (Accademia nazionale dei lincei), the University of Novi Sad will organize, on the 24th and 25th September 2018, the 1st Rectors' Forum of the Western Balkans entitled Science and higher education in the Western Balkans – current state of affairs and prospects.

Elaborately prepared introductory lectures and open discussions at the Forum will aim at enabling an objective, comprehensive and transparent insight into the problems and challenges that the region faces in the above-mentioned areas, but also its potential and its top achievements that are often neglected or unfoundedly disputed by institutions from other parts of Europe and the world. Our goal is to determine, through self-assessment, the place of our science and our education in the global setting and to work together on their advancement through mutual appreciation and self-respect.

Moreover, the Forum should enable the institutions to get to know one another and thus create the conditions for the strengthening of capacities in the region by intensifying mobility, jointly procuring equipment and publications, jointly conducting research and development projects, introducing joint study programmes, etc.

Well aware that the region has to be fully integrated into the European and global trends, part of the Forum will be dedicated to the initiatives that were proposed by other institutions, with the intention of supporting the advancement of science and higher education in the Western Balkan area. In this context, the Berlin Process and the so-called Jagiellonian initiative will be particularly discussed.

Presentations by the Keynote Speakers